Healthy Eating continued...

Top Ten Tips for Healthy Eating on a Budget

These days many families are trying to cut back on costs at home, including food. But there are things you can do to spend less while getting more nutritional bang for your buck. Check out these ideas and learn how healthy, great tasting foods can fit within your budget. Link to budget meals .

1. Limit impulse buys.

Last-minute purchases are generally less healthy and more expensive. Go to the supermarket with your healthy shopping list in hand — and stick to it!

2. Buy fruits and vegetables at their peak.

Season still matters when it comes to fresh produce. Fruits and vegetables that are in season are often less expensive and generally of higher quality. Ask your store's produce manager for advice on seasonality and good value.

3. Try house brands.

In today's competitive market, grocery retailers are expanding options in their private labels. This means you can often get natural and organic foods at lower prices. Some top private labels include: Target's Archer Farms, Safeway's O Organics, and Whole Foods' 365. Shop around!

4. Start from scratch.

Buy fewer prepared foods. A little extra time in the kitchen can save you big money in the long run. So shred your own lettuce, brew your own iced tea, even bake your own dinner rolls!

5. Buy in bulk

Most supermarkets have a self–serve bulk section where you can buy larger quantities of dried fruits, nuts, grains and other staple ingredients. You can choose the quantity you want and usually get better prices since you aren't paying for packaging.

6. Beans aren't just for chili

Keep a few cans of your favorite variety of beans in the fridge to quickly turn a side dish salad into a main course. Try a Tuna and White Bean Salad tonight!

7. Cook once, eat twice.

Save time and money by preparing enough food at dinnertime so you can have enough leftovers for lunch. Turkey Meatloaf makes great sandwiches.

8. Use your freezer.

Scout the frozen foods aisle for nutritious gems at bargain prices. Berries, mangos, peaches, beans, greens, artichokes and more are all easy to defrost and prepare.

9. Go meatless at least one night per week.

Eating a meatless meal one or two nights a week is a simple way to cut down on saturated (animal) fat while cutting back on high grocery bills. Try veggie burgers one night and an easy, hearty Lentil Soup the next. Here’s a link to some great Meatless Meals.

10. Become a patio farmer

If you can grow geraniums, you can grow food. A good–sized pot or planter can be the summer home to a cherry tomato plant. The 'Sweet Million' and 'Sungold' varieties are virtual tomato–producing machines. Sow spinach, lettuce or arugula seeds in your planter to harvest in the cooler seasons.

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